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The data ownership battle between project owners and contractors

The report from Dodge Data & Analytics and e-Builder is entitled “Connecting Owners and Contractors: How Technology Drives Connected Contractors“. The findings highlight the ongoing “data ownership battle” between project owners and contractors and the challenges that arise when the two manage construction projects using disparate software applications and workflows without automated data exchange.

Among the findings in the report are the fact that just 45 percent of respondents are satisfied with the current state of data connectedness. This level of satisfaction is one of the drivers for concerns about data ownership and the tensions between those managing projects and the firms hired to execute them.

The desire to collaborate is, however, strong provided the right digital tools exits. the survey also finds that 65 percent of project owners and 51 percent of contractors see a high or very high value in the application of a single data platform that all parties can use for collaboration and sharing. This means a shared digital space which is open, transparent and secure.

The report also reveals that 42 percent of contractors are using the project owner’s project management application plus a specialized project management application designed for contractors. The net effect of this dual approach is both increased risk for duplicated effort. This also impacts on efficiencies, with 73 percent of contractors reporting medium or high impact on the productivity of workers due to double-entry of construction data. To add to this, 70 percent of owners believe contractors add risk by estimating project progress.

Commenting on the overall findings, Steve Jones, Senior Director of Industry Insights from Dodge Data & Analytics says: “he need for contractors and owners to use their own project management applications has always been there.”

The answer is a digital solution, according to Jones: “The problem is, they [the two applications] have not worked together well. The data in this research quantifies the impact of the data silos between contractor and owner.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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